Daytrip to Liverpool

Liverpool is a great city for a sneaky weekend away and while it might be more famous for pop and perms (as well as the frightening development of The Scouse Brow ) it also has some really cool galleries that are well worth a peek.

The Open Eye Gallery is the only gallery dedicated to photography in the north west and is split over two floors. Small but perfectly formed, there are some interesting exhibitions coming up there including the works of late, great Liverpool photographer Tim Hetherington of soldiers in Afghanistan.

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Outside the Museum of Liverpool (which is a lovely modern building and has some fascinating exhibitions on the slave trade) are these gorgeous little fellas – Super Lambanas!

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As well as being cute and cheery, they tell the tale of Liverpool’s history as the first international city – importing bananas from the Caribbean and exporting wool from Lancashire.  I think they are gorgeous.

Superlambanana

Just around the corner at the famous docks is Tate Liverpool, which means I have finally been to all the Tates (Liverpool, St Ives, Britain, Modern) yay! Like all the Tates, it is beautifully designed and is full of treats. LOVE these floating frames in the middle of the room.

imageThe exhibitions are organised as “constellations” with certain pieces, say by Man Ray or Jackson Pollock, acting as “trigger” pieces to set off a constellation of inspiration and more beautiful works. Very clever, very cool.

tate chandelier

It’s not all culture though. We did some classic Liverpool tricks too by watching Everton not score a goal, having shots in my fav northern cheapy chain Baa Bar and we even saw Brookie heart throb Tinhead on the train home. Amazing scenes!

 

This Weekend…

Just a few days until I head to NYC to see my parents, eat too much food and wander around one of my favourite cities – I can’t wait. This weekend for me will be relaxed with some packing but also lots of yummy food with a sushi party at a friend’s house plus a trip to the awesome Street Feast up in my old neighbourhood Dalston. Whatever you do, stay gold.

imageOther cool stuff…

* LOVE this article on the difference between the US and the UK (and I agree – you order wine by the BOTTLE, America)

* Wardrobe organisation by fashion editors. Genius

* Borderline obsessed with the kitchen in Nicole’s house (from Making It Lovely)

* You know how I really want a drinks trolley? Well this amazing do-up makes me want it more.

* Have you signed up for iTunes festival tickets ballot? Fingers crossed for Chic, Lady Gaga and Elton.

* The most gorgeous brogues

* If you’re after a great read, I really can’t recommend Where’d You Go Bernadette? enough.

Image from my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend

Hooray for a three day weekender. Hope you all have fabulous fun and rest up too. Autumn is just around the corner so soak up the sun!

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Here are some bits that caught my eye this week. Ps how great is this Beatles photo?

A fascinating look at the age of denial

Avoid Oxford Street this weekend and hit the Asos sale, it’s really bloody good. And this skirt is perfect for my NYC trip

Talking of NYC, me and Al are touring the Brooklyn Brewery. Yay for beer!

This quiz makes me wonder if I would pass my GCSEs nowadays (for the record I was a massive nerd when I was sixteen and had the added pressure of joining the elite alumni – ie Richard Ashcroft – of this college)

The other famous son of Wigan, ukelele-strumming legend George Formby, is being celebrated in a show at the Hackney Empire August 31

And this weekend if you like cute pooches and charity (and if you don’t, take a long hard look at yourself and your life choices) head to the Paw Pageant at Spitafields. Awwwww factor plus pennies for Battersea.

LondonLove: Keats House, Hampstead Heath

On Friday morning I was heading to one of the loveliest bits of London – Hampstead Heath – for a tour of the hospital there (job interview tomorrow, eek!)

Due to the fear of being late, I ended up there far too early so decided to mooch around and stare at all the beautiful houses like the little match girl, practically smushing my face up to the glass panes. Seriously, I forgot places like this exist! Not that Old Kent Road doesn’t have it’s own joys but, you know…

In my wanderings, I came across this lovely building with a gorgeous tranquil garden. It’s only the bloody house of John Keats! This is what I love about London. Potter around for a while and something like this will just pop up.

keats house

Have you been? It’s very beautiful and there are lots of cool events that happen throughout the year (I’m tempted by the writing course). And it’s only a fiver for a ticket that lasts A YEAR. Or you could just take your lunch and a coffee into the lovely garden and chill for free.

xx

Shit Hot Hot Dogs

Sweet Bejesus, I love me a hot dog. If you do too, head down to The Miller near London Bridge ASAP. Seriously. GET. YOUR. COAT.

We had dinner there the other night because Street Kitchen are in residence and whipping up lush hot dogs, like the Boston Hound we had. Beetroot, crackling, pork belly, pickled gherkin…all topping a lush hot dog. We shared a tub of chunky chips with rosemary salt. HEAVEN.

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And for other great hotdogs, get yourself to the most awesome dude of street food Big Apple Hot Dogs who has a cart near Old Street roundabout (near the fire station). For me, it’s all about The Big Frank – but I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Queen of the Night Bus xx

LondonLove: Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

I think we can all agree on this – there is always time for some rooftop drinking. If you’re in sarf laandaan, get yourself to Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. Perched on top of the multi-storey car park, it has awesome panoramic views of the city skyline.

Franks - views

There are also art installations from Bold Tendencies – including this glittery number.

Franks - me

There is a wide range of yummy Greenwich Meantime ales and I had a lush cider to wash down a pot of olives and the most tasty barbecued plantain with super hot pepper sauce.

Franks

This is just the first visit of many this summer for us. If nothing else, I need more BBQ plantain!

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

LondonLove: Climbing The Monument

This summer me and Al have decided to do lots of “London things” that we haven’t done – the kind of thing every Italian student on an exchange trip has seen in London but the average resident walks past daily.

Today we did one of those things, and climbed all the way to the top of the Monument. It was so cool but hard bloody work. 311 steps of hard work!

Monument stairs

Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London fact fans, and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City of London. The pillar with its distinctive copper top (bit like me, har har) is built near where the fire began. Fantastic fact people – the pillar is 61 metres high, which is the exact distance between the pillar and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began.

Monument st pauls

When you get up top, your hard work is rewarded with brilliant views of the city. St Pauls, Battersea Power Station, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament. It’s all here. And guess what – it is only £3 (!!!) to go to the top (and only a bargainous £2 if you are a student!!)

Monument us

As we left the lovely man gave us both a certificate to prove we had climbed to the top of the Monument.

Monument certs

Whether you’re a tourist or a long-time resident, the Monument is so worth a visit. Plus, you’re not to far from one of my favourite streets (and old stomping ground) Fleet Street where a pint at the Tipperary, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese or the Crown and Sugarloaf is pretty necessary after 311 steps.

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

LondonLove: Walking the Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to Camden

A few weeks ago me and Al decided to make the most of a break in the rain and go for a big ole walk but breaking news people – WE WENT TO WEST LONDON. I know right?! Previous to this day out, this was my personal map of London.

Here be Dragons

Even though I have lived here nearly six years, I’m very much an East/South London kind of girl. Of course, I’ve been to the museums and the occasional house party and what not but I find anything past Marble Arch pretty baffling.

However I was super keen to go to Little Venice, a beautiful area in the south of Maida Vale. Wowsa. The streets really are paved with gold! We were not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Little Venice 2

The houseboats are so pretty – it’s a dream of mine to live on a houseboat thanks to a combination of the TV show Rosie and Jim and growing in canal-riddled Wigan. The moorings are really pretty and well maintained here.

Little Venice 1

We then pottered up the canal side and eventually came across this incredible community of house boats – how beautiful! There were herbs growing along the path way and pretty bunting and decorations (and a few adorable dogs mooching aboard deck). It was like paradise.

Little Venice 3

The sun had come out by this time so we decided to pop off the canal path and head into St Johns Wood for a snack. Al was keen to show me Lords Cricket Ground and then we saw the Abbey Road crossing made famous, of course, by the Beatles’ album cover. We didn’t try to recreate this but a lot of people did  – a few got properly told off by moody drivers too. (How amazing are the houses around here?)

Abbey Road

After a sneaky pint, we got back on the canal on our way to Camden. We considered going alllllll the way back to east London but by this point rain clouds were on the horizon. This part of the walk is especially exciting because you go past the London Zoo – we didn’t see any wild animals, alas – and the canal becomes very peaceful and serene. This probably isn’t an image most people think of when they think of central London.

regents canal

me at canal

We continued our amble – and this is when the house envy monster inside me really came out. The houses are like palaces! This one reminds me so much of the house that Duchess and her kittens live in in The Aristocats.

big house canal

And bravo to the owners of this gorgeous home – a surprise cow on the balcony! Love it.

 

cow house canal

Eventually we made it to Camden before the rain started to pour and treated ourselves to a well earned burger and cheeky wine at the Hawley Arms.

If you have a spare afternoon and the weather is fine, it’s a beautiful walk and takes in so many great sights. We’ve now got a target of walking the whole 8.6 miles of the Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to the Thames at Limehouse basin (via Islington, Dalston and Mile End) at some point this summer. I’m thinking there will need to be quite a few pint stops on that one.

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

All photographs courtesy of my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley. London tube map from Transport for London, and destroyed by myself.

This Weekend…

It’s been a bit quiet on here for a while due to a manic few weeks of work. And the next few weeks look to be much of the same with an exam and two assignments due in as my midwifery training reaches the end, at last!!

But there are so many great things to look forward to as well. Hope you all have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and get to relaaaaxxxxxx….

London tea

In the meantime, here are some bits that have caught my beady eye of late.

* Two of my super cool friends are having babies this year, and I’m already thinking of ideas for cute unique gifts like this – am I being too adventurous?

* My friend Hannah’s awesome DIY wedding invites – mine is proudly displayed on the fridge! Proof that style and good design need not cost the earth

* This Sunday me and my adorable friend Steven are hitting Vicky Park for As One In The Park, a fun and poppy LGBT festival which includes my true love and guilty pleasure – RYLAN!  (did someone say Prosecco?)

* And tonight it’s the final of our little DIY Come Dine With Me. It’s sure to be full of yummy Colombian food, like this. Noms.

* Talking of food, I made a deeelish Vietnamese salad this week and became addicted to this blog in the process

* And finally, in a week that has involved some truly horrible events, remember there is a lot of good out there – and here’s the proof

Queen of the Night Bus xxx